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Full text of "Linguistic Survey Of India Vol Ii Mon Khmer Siamese Chinese Families"

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TAI GROUP.

As regards the YOKELS, the first, m a, is considered in Ahom to be a consonant as
in Siamese! It is used, much like the ahfvi Hindustani, merely as a fulcrum for carry-
ing the other Bowels when they are initial The vowel inherent in consonants is, as in

CMkma, o, not a    Hence when Yd' stands at the commencement of a word, and is

Mowed hy another consonant, it has the force of a. Thus, W y\ m. "When a syllable
is not a closed one, but ends in long a, the letter a (No. 3) must be written in ML Thus

#Flff9 #1 na.    m by itself would mean nothing.

The second rowel Vn \ corresponds to the Sanskrit visarga. It occurs both in Shan
and Siamese, "but not in Khamtl. In Shan it is used as a tone sign, to indicate a high
tone. In Siamese, it is used to indicate short vowels. In Ahom, according to the present
tradition, its pronunciation is the same as d (No. 8), and it is freely interchanged with

J                      &d&

it.   Thus the word for ' to eome ' is written both ^ j and Ft .   I therefore transliterate

it a. The TOW el *m (No, 4) is pronounced both i and e. In transliterating the speci-
mens I have indicated, so far as I could, every case in which it is pronounced e. I can
find no rule for the pronunciation.

Similarly the vowel   U (Nos. 7 and 11) has two sounds, those of u and 0.   When it
^                        &\

is final, and has the o-pronunciation, the letter 0 is added to it.   But when it is medial,
this   0    is dropped, so that there is no means of distinguishing between the two pro-

Jto*"l        """^

nundations.  Thus, "fv nu, but ^O no.   Both nun and non would be written H* }$ 

I am not at all certain that this distinction in writing nu and no really exists.   All that I
can say is that it is what is done in the specimens here given.

/***                                            /*s

The other vowels (Nos. 12 and 16) which end in 0 > also only retain this O when

/\

the vowel is at the end of the syllable.   When it is medial, the 0 is dropped.

C                                   r

The vowel /}$b  <M (No. 14) is often written m 0 dw.   Thus #0 or 1H6 kau
or Jc&W) I.  This is always the case in Shan.   Kau represents the correct pronunciation.

r
In writing, Ofc      ail (No. 15) and 'Yfb  au (No. 14) are often confused; so that
we find u   maut thou, often carelessly written u; or even 2/ Q .
In the above table, the vowels are all given in their initial forms, i.e., attached to
W\ which, as already stated, is considered by the Ihoms to be a consonant.   They can